This past week we had our orientation to the RMED program. It was kicked off by a picnic at one of the dean's houses on Tuesday evening and the orientation began Wednesday morning. There are a total of 18 RMED students and everyone really hit it off at the Tuesday night picnic mixer. We all have interesting backgrounds and everyone seemed to click with each other. It was really nice to see everyone interact without little clique-y groups forming. Hopefully we stay like that!
Anyway, attending the RMED orientation just solidified what a great decision it was to choose this program over others I was accepted to. Everything was just so personal and they made it clear that everyone in the program was picked for a reason. We had some really great speakers tell us about the different facets to being a rural doc from personal experiences from physicians to state financing by an IDPH person. We also had some students who just finished their M1 year dish on their experiences, and it sounds hard, but fun.
Some of the interesting points of the RMED program include monthly meetings at a buffet-style restaurant (read FREE MEALS!!!) with guest speakers, field trips with different rural agendas (e.g. hospital touring, farm medicine workshops, etc.), and a 16-week rural preceptorship that requires quite a bit of autonomy from the student.
The emphasis of the program is definitely FP residency placement, and I'm still on the fence about specialties I like. I know I have lots of time to work that out, but I am even more confident now that I want to return to a rural area to practice, no matter what. That may limit me somewhat in residency specialty in the future, but that's ok. I just really have a strong desire to serve people out in the country, I just don't know how I want to do that yet!
Anyway, we get our next batch of UIC info in July and then our official M1 orientation begins in Urbana on 8/19 and classes commence on 8/25.
My work load is tapering off and I'm going to be giving my notice of termination of business to my referral sources around July 1, with an anticipated termination date of July 31. As much as I enjoy working with the kids, I'm so ready to move on to the next step in life. In the meantime, we've got a mini July 4 vacation trip to Southern Illinois/SE Missouri planned and a trip to Sturgis, SD at the beginning of August. I realize I have to get in my leisure time now because come mid-August the party's over :).